"It was the oldest sound in the world. Souls flying away." The Secret Life of Bees

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Let's talk macarons

Macaron - a sweet meringue-based confectionery made with egg whites, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. The macaron is commonly filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies.

The confectionery is characterised by its smooth, domed top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the "foot"), and flat base. It is mildly moist and easily melts in the mouth (from Wikipedia).

I decided to go on a bit of a macaron tasting spree while in Paris.  After reading this post on Feather Factor, I knew where to start!  Of course, you have to consume macarons while in Paris, but I wanted to try the best of the best and find out for myself what makes them so wonderful. 

#1  Pierre Herme

The absolute best, in my opinion.  Although I don't have many pictures to show off, these are definitely at the top of my list.  The macarons were delicate, beautiful, and delicious.  The texture was perfect and they offer very creative flavors (jasmine was my favorite).  I don't have much to say - these were simply perfect.   

 #2 Laduree

Although these weren't quite on par with Pierre Herme in terms of texture or creative flavors, they were still wonderful.  I think that what makes Laduree really special, is the presentation/packaging.  Every single item in the store was beautiful - very fancy, very Parisian.  Although it was quite crowded, I did not want to leave!  It was such a lovely place. I wanted to look around and browse, but it was too busy and you end up kind of being herded through the line.  Even so, I loved it.  The cherry blossom and orange blossom were my favorites here. 
At the park, getting ready to dig in!

Pretty ribbon they use for packaging
lovely box, lovely macarons:)

Current flavors

#3  La Petite Friande

We stumbled upon this little shop in Reims, France.  When I saw the huge macaron tower in the window, I had to go in!  That turned out to be a good choice.  Although the presentation/packaging doesn't hold a candle to Laduree, the macarons sure do.  They had a lot of flavor options; some passion fruit combination turned out to be my favorite here, although I can't quite remember what it was combined with.  This little shops main attraction was homemade chocolate, which made Ben happy.  His rocher was out-of-this-world good.    


 Tell me about your macaron experiences!  Favorite flavor?  Favorite shop? Have you ever tried to make macarons?